|Images from Bohemia Interactive Solutions|
One "dirty secret" of Information Technology is that much of what we take for granted today in terms of lifelike graphics and other virtual reality technologies were originally developed for military applications by DARPA and private concerns. The mouse, for example, was originally developed by XEROX's PARC division 40 years ago with governmental funding. In fact, the internet is based on a U.S. Department of Defense project, ARPANET, funded back in 1969.
So in other words, military applications frequently precede consumer applications in virtual reality and related technologies.
The graphics we see in Second Life are based on technology applications that are now at least a decade old. Checking out new gaming graphics can give us some idea of what virtual worlds can be delivering -- but usually emphasize exaggerated visual effects for "action-packed" gaming.
If you want to see what Virtual Worlds will look like in the future, check out these videos from Bohemia Interactive Simulations, a company which sells simulation technology to militaries around the world. I was quite literally blown away when I saw these videos. They are incredible. This is not the future, this is technology available today.
To find our more about Bohemia Interactive Simulations:
You Tube Channel (with many more videos):
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